Thursday, March 4, 2010
Fighting Fires is Dangerous Business
And so is turning off the water when your kitchen is flooding when the washer breaks. Without warning. I said, this is SO getting blogged.
So it's Thursday and I have a very busy next 3 days planned, it's Oscar weekend people! I'm the paparazzi at an Oscar party (you don't think I'm making that up do you?) Alice In Wonderland opens tomorrow, I have to empty the kitchen and bathrooms for new floors, appliances, and cabinets. Saturday I have to help a good friend get READY for the Oscar party. Then I have to get ME ready for said Oscar party Sunday.
Work is crazy, doubled work, same small team, I don't need to go on......
I come home and decide it's time to get laundry done so I don't have to mess with it over the weekend. Do yoga while the first load is washing. I notice that the sound of running water that usually stops once the washer starts the "washing" is still going, I don't think too much about it. The rinse cycle starts and I'm still doing yoga but still hearing that water sound, so I push pause and walk in the kitchen to see, a flood. I'm not kidding. Water is seeping out from under the washer, snaking its way toward my kitchen rug I have laying in between the stove and kitchen sink. I grab that and put it up, and go investigate to see what in the hell is going on. The water isn't shutting off. AT ALL. I turn the washing machine off. Water still going.
I attempt to turn the blue knobs off that are behind the washer. Yeah you know how this ends. I can't get them turned at all. I try wrapping my hand in a towel to no avail. Now panic is beginning to set in.
I call the apartment complex office and get to the emergency maintenance line. The "answering service" is who I speak with, explain the situation and am told that maintenance would be paged immediately.
I go back into the kitchen and realize I've probably got about 5 minutes before the washer fills so full that its going to overflow. I use a pitcher to get some of the water out and dump it in the kitchen sink. Getting the wet clothes out was loads of fun let me tell you. Those now reside in the bathtub, as do the rest of the clothes that were sorted by colors and whites, and are now completely soaked by the flooding water.
I call the emergency maintenance line again, good news, I knew to press zero right away this time, progress!
In giving the 2nd person an update of , "its going to be like the 2nd sinking of the titanic very soon if they don't hurry" I don't feel very confident that maintenance has a sense of urgency.
Still removing water from the washer, I realize that I have to call for other help, like. NOW.
"911 what's the address of your emergency?"
"I don't know if this is what you would classify as an emergency but my kitchen is flooding and I can't get the water shut off" (Bear in mind my neighbor who would save the world if he could, is not home right now)
"No problem, I'll send the fire department"
Oh my god they're going to roll firetrucks for this. Guilt is settling in, but I'm standing in 3 inches of water so....
This is how the City of Coppell rolls, no pun intended. If your cat gets stuck in a tree they roll 3 firetrucks and one patrol car along with 9 professionals to save the day. *I love living in Coppell.
I live very close to the police station and fire station (hey friends!) so less than two minutes later I hear the sounds of, what I thought was, one firetruck.
I race to the door, to see a firetruck parked sideways right outside my door, and 3 firemen headed my way. They wasted no time at all getting to my kitchen to shut the water off. He said, you must have loosened it for me.....as I cringe when he shuts it off with one twist. *sigh
I look back over towards the door to see 5 more firemen enter my living room. Trying to keep my mouth from hanging open I weakly asked, "um so, how many trucks did you roll for this?"
"Oh only two, no big deal. We're gonna get you all fixed up" Sinking slowly down on the couch I reply with "gulp. okay."
Two shopvacs and 8 firemen later, I've got a full house, we have enough people to play cards or rearrange all of the furniture, whatever. I'm sitting there watching them like, I seriously can't believe this is happening. And these people are the friendliest guys on the planet. And extremely funny. Very sociable even above the din of what sounds like a new house being built. Have you heard two shopvacs going at once?
One of the guys says Um Tiff we can come over for coffee, you don't have to flood your house, just sayin.
OMG he even says just sayin like I do. We're bff's ya'll.
Then the electricity goes out.
All of this shopvac activity blew a fuse. Now I'm sitting in the dark with 8 firemen. People, I couldn't make this up if I tried. 8 flashlights come on at once. I think I now know what it's like to get ready to walk the stage at an event such as the Oscars. Preparedness. These guys are doin it right.
They get the lights back on, and continue with their quest of saving my home. Still talking to me like I've known them for years. "So....I hope I'm not keeping you from a real fire emergency". "Nah, we were just waiting for you to call"
Right after the 2nd shopvac is turned off, maintenance shows. What timing, you're just so eloquent. *sigh again.
So maintenance guy speaks with lead firemen guy, and the others are wrapping things up. I show them to the door, politely thanking them profusely for their efforts. We make plans to meet at Starbucks sometime, we're now tight, and it's right down the street and all.
Lead firemen guy lets me know that I did the right thing in calling. It was only then that I exhaled and let go of the guilt for bothering them. "It's no bother, we're here to help you" he says.
Maintenance guy number two shows, and they now begin emptying the washer to take it away, "you deserve a new one" they say. Well thank you.
As I write this I am now 8 friends richer, have wet carpet, fans blowing, a very clean kitchen floor, a bathtub full of wet clothes, a new washer on the way, and a new blog post ending in 3....2......1
To the City of Coppell fire department, I thank you.
When I have breakfast with them, you can come along. Maybe their story will be even better than mine.
Until then, sleep well friend